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Monthly Archives: December 2017

City of Madison, AL

Checkout Downtown Madison by the Train Tracks

Downtown Madison makes for a fun afternoon near the Rocket City. Main Street, a  perfectly compact and quaint little

strip alongside the train tracks, is anchored by Old Black Bear Brewing Company, and has a lineup of shops familiar to a small town lover: a cafe and a restaurant, a salon, a boutique, keepsake and antique shops, a sweets shop, and a fitness studio, among other tenants like an attorney’s office and artist studio. It’s a diverse group of businesses. Between retail therapy and a bite to eat, it can make for a fun afternoon close to Huntsville, all tucked away in the middle of Madison in under a tenth of a mile’s walk, if that.

Downtown Madison makes for a fun afternoon near the Rocket City. Main Street, a  perfectly compact and quaint little strip alongside the train tracks, is anchored by Old Black Bear Brewing Company, and has a lineup of shops familiar to a small town lover: a cafe and a restaurant, a salon, a boutique,

keepsake and antique shops, a sweets shop, and a fitness studio, among other tenants like an attorney’s office and artist studio. It’s a diverse group of businesses. Between retail therapy and a bite to eat, it can make for a fun afternoon close to Huntsville, all tucked away in the middle of Madison in under a tenth of a mile’s walk, if that.

Main Street Cafe has a menu that looks a little fancier than their name might suggest, some good outdoor seating for summer, and offers a chicken dish I’m quite keen to try, named after our good neighbors to the East: Georgia Chicken has peaches and pecan sauce with garlic mashed potatoes. I’m interested.

Not sure what it is about a Reuben sandwich, but it seems to be one of those things that’s there on the menu anytime I’m somewhere thinking “This is cute.” You can get one at Main Street Cafe to fuel your antique hunt, or just to get lunch out of the way so you can go try the homemade fudge at Sallie’s Whistlestop Sweet Shop.

Main Street also features other places of interest, like Jacklyn’s Keepsakes, J’s Salon on Main and Noble Passage Interiors.

To pass through Madison on either Highway 72 or I-565/Madison Blvd., one could easily consider 

Madison lacking in a healthy small business culture, as box stores dominate the thoroughfares. But there’s Main Street, now bolstered in untold measures by the presence of a popular taproom in Old Black Bear, and its medley of shops tucked away so cozy it’s easy to forget it’s all there, if you even realized it to start with.

Main Street also features other places of interest, like Jacklyn’s Keepsakes, J’s Salon on Main and Noble Passage Interiors.

To pass through Madison on either Highway 72 or I-565/Madison Blvd., one could easily consider Madison lacking in a healthy small business culture, as box stores dominate the thoroughfares. But there’s Main Street, now bolstered in untold measures by the presence of a popular taproom in Old Black Bear, and its medley of shops tucked away so cozy it’s easy to forget it’s all there, if you even realized it to start with.

Support small businesses in Madison and check out the local merchants downtown by the train tracks!


By: Stephen Locke

Stephen Locke grew up in north Alabama, and returned to find a beautiful wife and East Limestone mutt to call family, after years of toil and revelry afar, and having absorbed the lesson, "Don'tcha think, sometime's it's wise not to grow up?" His true loves include waterfalls, houseplants, architecture, photography, basketball, and whistling along to his favorite guitar solos.

Three Museums, Countless Experiences

Indoors, outdoors, little kids, big kids, history buffs … find a variety of options to keep engaged at the EarlyWorks Family of Museums. The “family” comprises three facilities in downtown Huntsville. Click here for the museum Web site.

EarlyWorks Museum

EarlyWorks Children’s History Museum at 404 Madison St. SE. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

This was the go-to place when my family first moved to Huntsville – in the middle of winter. We spent so much time here the boys knew exactly what they wanted to do each visit: haul up flags and feel the pelts aboard the keelboat, “blow up” the mine, play in the water in Biscuit’s Backyard, try on the 1800s clothing, climb aboard the wagon. A room can be booked for children’s parties.

EarlyWorks Museum

EarlyWorks Children’s History Museum at 404 Madison St. SE. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. This was the go-to place when my family first moved to Huntsville – in the middle of winter. We spent so much time here the boys knew exactly what they wanted to do each visit: haul up flags and feel the pelts aboard the keelboat, “blow up” the mine, play in the water in Biscuit’s Backyard, try on the 1800s clothing, climb aboard the wagon. A room can be booked for children’s parties.

Alabama Constitution Village
Located across the street from EarlyWorks at 109 Gates Ave. SE, the indoor/outdoor facility is gearing up for Alabama’s Bicentennial in 2019 and will close for restoration after the holidays. It is here where delegates met to draw up the constitution 

for the new state of Alabama, the 22nd addition to the United States of America. On the site is the cabinet shop, a print shop, a law office, a land surveyor’s office, a post office and a sheriff’s residence. Around the site, villagers demonstrate the tasks needed to survive in the 1800s. In November/December the site comes to resemble the North Pole, with Santa, reindeer, elves and cookies.

Alabama Constitution Village
Located across the street from EarlyWorks at 109 Gates Ave. SE, the indoor/outdoor facility is gearing up for Alabama’s Bicentennial in 2019 and will close for restoration after the holidays. It is here where delegates met to draw up the constitution for the new state of Alabama, the 22nd addition to the United States of America. On the site is the cabinet shop, a print shop, a law office, a land surveyor’s office, a post office and a sheriff’s residence. Around the site, villagers demonstrate the tasks needed to survive in the 1800s. In November/December the site comes to resemble the North Pole, with Santa, reindeer, elves and cookies.
Huntsville Depot & Museum

Huntsville Depot & Museum, at 320 Church St. NW, is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, though the grounds are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Climb aboard parked trains cars, ride a train, visit the roundhouse in this depot built before the Civil War. The original depot building was an active station until 1968 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The third floor contains graffiti from visitors, including Union soldiers detained here during the Civil War. The facility is a unique place to book a children’s birthday party. Special events are held here, such as high school dances and the May WhistleStop Weekend and BBQ Championship.

Admission/Membership
Admission to individual museums is $12 adults, $10 seniors (55+) and youth (4-17), $5 toddler (1-3). To visit two museums is $20 adult, $15 seniors and youth, $5 toddler. An annual membership giving admittance to all three museums $60 for 1 adult/1 child; $85 for families or 2 grandparents/5 grandchildren. With the Nationwide Unlimited membership ($135), guests get half off admission to children’s museums around the nation. Those include the McWane Science Center in Birmingham, Children’s Museum of the Shoals in Florence, Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa, Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Pensacola Children’s Museum in Pensacola, HealthWorks! North Mississippi in Tupelo and Louisiana Children’s Museum in New Orleans. Find the full list of reciprocal museums here. Anyone with a military ID gets $1 off year-round and gets in free during Armed Forces Week in June.

By: Deborah Bennick

Deborah Bennick is a freelance writer and editor in Huntsville whose journalism career spans 25 years in four states. She enjoys cooking, reading, volunteering, outdoor activities, watching her kids play sports and being involved with education.

Madison Breweries

Previously I wrote for Rocket City Local about the by now regionally renowned beer brewing scene in Huntsville. There’s also a handful in Madison!

I myself haven’t hung out in Madison in years, having moved back home to the Huntsville area from New Orleans a couple of years ago. My wife Bridget moved here from Boston to work on Redstone Arsenal, and like the perfect social butterfly that she is, wasted no time getting to know the communal spaces to be enjoyed and Alabama ales to be quaffed. She’s been here five years, and has been to places in Rocket City I didn’t know existed.

Old Black Bear and Rocket Republic are the two big ones,” she told me last week when I asked her about the Madison beermakers. Maybe I age myself saying stuff like this, but I don’t mind: I miss *asking* people for the skinny, not reaching

reflexively for the computer in my pocket. So I still do the former, if only to cut down on my blue light pollution. 

Madison is also home to Blue Pants Brewery. I would earnestly love to ask its founders without snark about its name, which I find unfortunate. Can’t say the same for their website, which I’ve just checked out. It looks quite nice. Bridget recommends their Double Stuff Pinstripe Stout, for all you Oreo lovers who like the thought of vanilla and cocoa nib flavors in a beer. The digs are basic but spacious, and located conveniently off I-565 near Hughes Rd. and Madison Blvd. “Think old Straight to Ale on Leeman Ferry,” Bridget says in regards to a ballpark comparison.

Rocket Republic on County Line Road, also just a small piece off 565 or Madison Blvd., offers an

industrial vibe with metal tables and chairs. A pretty decent selection with around eight beers on tap, at least, says B. “Right now I’m really into their Cosmic Cookie Brown Ale. It tastes like oatmeal cookies.”

“The owner’s wife is a yoga teacher and so they offer beer + yoga classes, Sunday afternoons at 1:30 . . . They don’t have their own kitchen so there’s a nightly rotation of food trucks like Beast Mode, Manic Organic, or Back Alley Traveling Bistro. They also have live music on Friday and Saturday nights.”

Old Black Bear offers multiple warm rooms of wood walls and bear ottomans, a picnic style

outdoor seating area with cable reel hightop tables, and live music. Cave City Lager is pretty popular, says the wife. At supermarkets throughout Huntsville, OBB’s attractive and understated cans feature their sleek and very cool bear graphic. It’s a feat to do a bear logo in a fresh way, but here ya go. He looks curious and alert, a nice change of pace as bear logos go. OBB’s brews are also available on tap at various other watering holes in town.

Named after a bear, they weren’t to stop there (!). OBB is also a distillery, producing vodka, gin, and rum in what I’d presume to be limited batches, creating a trend about the Rocket City—Straight to Ale at Campus 805 also began making spirits.

Bridget highly recommends Old Black Bear’s Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese. She digs the pimento cheese items and says they also do a mean Sunday brunch. Looking for chicken and waffles? They have it.

Old Black Bear and Rocket Republic are the two big ones,” she told me last week when I asked her about the Madison beermakers. Maybe I age myself saying stuff like this, but I don’t mind: I miss *asking* people for the skinny, not reaching reflexively for the computer in my pocket. So I still do the former, if only to cut down on my blue light pollution.

Madison is also home to Blue Pants Brewery. I would earnestly love to ask its founders without snark about its name, which I find unfortunate. Can’t say the same for their website, which I’ve just checked out. It looks quite nice. Bridget recommends their Double Stuff Pinstripe Stout, for all you Oreo lovers who like the thought of vanilla

and cocoa nib flavors in a beer. The digs are basic but spacious, and located conveniently off I-565 near Hughes Rd. and Madison Blvd. “Think old Straight to Ale on Leeman Ferry,” Bridget says in regards to a ballpark comparison.

Rocket Republic on County Line Road, also just a small piece off 565 or Madison Blvd., offers an industrial vibe with metal tables and chairs. A pretty decent selection with around eight beers on tap, at least, says B. “Right now I’m really into their Cosmic Cookie Brown Ale. It tastes like oatmeal cookies.”

“The owner’s wife is a yoga teacher and so they offer beer + yoga classes, Sunday afternoons at 1:30 . . . They don’t have their own kitchen so there’s a nightly rotation of food trucks like Beast Mode, Manic Organic, or Back Alley Traveling Bistro. They also have live music on Friday and Saturday nights.”

Old Black Bear and Rocket Republic are the two big ones,” she told me last week when I asked her about the Madison beermakers. Maybe I age myself saying stuff like this, but I don’t mind: I miss *asking* people for the skinny, not reaching reflexively for the computer in my pocket. So I still do the former, if only to cut down on my blue light pollution.

Madison is also home to Blue Pants Brewery. I would earnestly love to ask its founders without snark about its name, which I find unfortunate. Can’t say the same for their website, which I’ve just checked out. It looks quite nice. Bridget recommends their Double Stuff Pinstripe Stout, for all you Oreo lovers who like the thought of vanilla and cocoa nib flavors in a beer. The digs are basic but spacious, and located conveniently off I-565 near Hughes Rd. and Madison Blvd. “Think old Straight to Ale on Leeman Ferry,” Bridget says in regards to a ballpark comparison.

Rocket Republic on County Line Road, also just a small piece off 565 or Madison Blvd., offers an industrial vibe with metal tables and chairs. A pretty decent selection with around eight beers on tap, at least, says B. “Right now I’m really into

their Cosmic Cookie Brown Ale. It tastes like oatmeal cookies.”

“The owner’s wife is a yoga teacher and so they offer beer + yoga classes, Sunday afternoons at 1:30 . . . They don’t have their own kitchen so there’s a nightly rotation of food trucks like Beast Mode, Manic Organic, or Back Alley Traveling Bistro. They also have live music on Friday and Saturday nights.”

Old Black Bear offers multiple warm rooms of wood walls and bear ottomans, a picnic style outdoor seating area with cable reel hightop tables, and live music. Cave City Lager is pretty popular, says the wife. At supermarkets throughout Huntsville, OBB’s attractive and understated cans feature their sleek and very cool bear graphic. It’s a feat to do a bear logo in a fresh way, but here ya go. He looks curious and alert, a nice change of pace as bear logos go. OBB’s brews are also available on tap at various other watering holes in town.

Named after a bear, they weren’t to stop there (!). OBB is also a distillery, producing vodka, gin, and rum in what I’d presume to be limited batches, creating a trend about the Rocket City—Straight to Ale at Campus 805 also began making spirits.

Bridget highly recommends Old Black Bear’s Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese. She digs the pimento cheese items and says they also do a mean Sunday brunch. Looking for chicken and waffles? They have it.

Old Black Bear offers multiple warm rooms of wood walls and bear ottomans, a picnic style outdoor seating area with cable reel hightop tables, and live music. Cave City Lager is pretty popular, says the wife. At supermarkets

throughout Huntsville, OBB’s attractive and understated cans feature their sleek and very cool bear graphic. It’s a feat to do a bear logo in a fresh way, but here ya go. He looks curious and alert, a nice change of pace as bear logos go. OBB’s brews are also available on tap at various other watering holes in town.

Named after a bear, they weren’t to stop there (!). OBB is also a distillery, producing vodka, gin, and rum in what I’d presume to be limited batches, creating a trend about the Rocket City—Straight to Ale at Campus 805 also began making spirits.

Bridget highly recommends Old Black Bear’s Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese. She digs the pimento cheese items and says they also do a mean Sunday brunch. Looking for chicken and waffles? They have it.

If you needed a few more reasons to check out what is clearly my wife’s pick for top brewery in Madison, well: they’re getting ready to start hosting live music (keep an eye on their events calendar), they’re kid friendly, and they’re out there being lovable by engaging multiple natural conservation efforts. Their LandTrust Trail Brown Ale donates $.20 from each can to Land Trust of North Alabama, and the Whooping Crane Red Ale donates portions of each sale to the International Crane Foundation.

That’s cool in our books.


By: Stephen Locke

Stephen Locke grew up in north Alabama, and returned to find a beautiful wife and East Limestone mutt to call family, after years of toil and revelry afar, and having absorbed the lesson, "Don'tcha think, sometime's it's wise not to grow up?" His true loves include waterfalls, houseplants, architecture, photography, basketball, and whistling along to his favorite guitar solos.

Sweet or Savory? Edgar’s has something for Everyone!

The Christmas celebrations are done and now everyone is gearing up to celebrate the New Year. After large meals of turkey or ham with all the fixings, many people are ready for lighter fare. Edgar’s Bakery located at 472 Providence Main Street, Suite 100 in the Village of Providence in Huntsville has the perfect breakfast, lunch, and/or dessert.  

The location in the Village of Providence is the picture-perfect place to slow down, meet a friend to catch up with after a busy holiday. Their menu includes a wide selection: salads, soups, quiches as well as a full line of artisan

breads, cupcakes, cookies, and cakes.  You will be sure to find a tasty treat to enjoy while in the bakery.  If you are still looking for a gift for someone that you haven’t gotten to connect with over the holidays, the market on site is sure to have a splendid seasonal gift, baked bread or dessert that would be a nice treat for anyone on your list.

The location in the Village of Providence is the picture-perfect place to slow down, meet a friend to catch up with after a busy holiday. Their menu includes a wide selection: salads, soups, quiches as well as a full line of artisan breads, cupcakes, cookies, and cakes.  You will be sure to find a tasty treat to enjoy while in the bakery.  If you are still looking for a gift for someone that you haven’t gotten to connect with over the holidays, the market on site is sure to have a splendid seasonal gift, baked bread or dessert that would be a nice treat for anyone on your list.

Edgar’s Bakery also provides a full catering menu for breakfast, lunch, and baked items.  If you are tired of slaving in the kitchen this holiday season and still want to have a nice gathering for New Year’s, let Edgar’s catering do the hard work.  They provide gourmet deli trays, chicken salads, wraps, fruit, and almost every kind of baked sweet imaginable.  Get your catering order in and have a gourmet New Year’s Day brunch without all the hassle.  

Edgar’s Bakery requests 48 hour’s notice for catering orders and the minimum order is for 10 people.  If you just need a side to help with your meal they also offer their signature chicken salads, pimento cheese, and pasta salads by the pound.  You can also always put in an order for cupcakes, cookies, or Edgar’s signature Strawberry Cake.  Whatever you need, sweet or savory, Edgar’s Bakery’s breads and sweets are sure to impress!


By: Brooke Hyde

Brooke Hyde is an IT professional and mompreneur who likes using technology to improve businesses.  She currently works for a defense contract in Huntsville, and runs her small business The Automated Mompreneur. When she is not working with technology to help government and momprenuers be more efficient, she enjoys spending time with her husband, two boys, and two dogs in the family you-pick vineyard, Hyde's Harvest Vineyard. 

Huntsville’s Hometown Team – Huntsville Havoc

The Auburn-Alabama Football fan feud is one of both viciousness and camaraderie. Much, I am led to believe, like the bickering of siblings. It is mostly good clean fun…mostly. Regardless of which of our football teams you cheer for during the season, or lament the dragging days of their off-season their is no denying the importance of sports in regard to southern culture. While those are our two most recognizable teams in the state, we in the Rocket City have another team: The Huntsville Havoc. Hockey is not the most obvious choice in the south. It’s hot pretty much all off the time, and ours is more commonly a warm Christmas than a white Christmas, but that is what makes the Huntsville Havoc such an exciting experience. There are not many place in Alabama, or the South as a whole, that you can see an Ice-Hockey game, but Huntsville is lucky enough to have our very own team.

The Team

Hosting games in Huntsville’s entertainment hub, The Von Braun Center, the Havoc are part of the Southern Professional Hockey League. The team has

been playing since 2004 with players from both Canada and America. The Havoc are currently ranked 5th in the SPHL with 10 wins and only 5 losses. Sy Nutkevitch, a center for The Havoc is also ranked 5th in player rankings for the entire SPHL. With stats like those, it’s easy to see why hockey is becoming increasingly popular in Huntsville.

The Team

Hosting games in Huntsville’s entertainment hub, The Von Braun Center, the Havoc are part of the Southern Professional Hockey League. The team has been playing since 2004 with players from both Canada and America. The Havoc are currently ranked 5th in the SPHL with 10 wins and only 5 losses. Sy Nutkevitch, a center for The Havoc is also ranked 5th in player rankings for the entire SPHL. With stats like those, it’s easy to see why hockey is becoming increasingly popular in Huntsville.

Team Philanthropy

Hockey is famous for being a brutal, full-contact sport made up of tough “goons" who would just as soon headbutt an opponent as win a match. With that being the conventional wisdom you might find it surprising that The Havoc are heavily involved in multiple charities including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, The Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund, World of Work, and Light the Lamp Foundation.

Going to a Game

If you would like to go to a game the teams has multiple offerings on the Huntsville Havoc website.

You can opt for single game tickets ranging from $12-$28. You can also buy season tickets so that you never miss a moment of the action. Season tickets include a ton of perks and savings. You can purchase the “Full Season Package” with all 28 home games plus the playoff and preseason games with prices ranging from $252-$560 depending on area and seating preference. The “Half Season Package” includes 14 home games at the VBC with prices ranging from $140-$322.

Going to a Game

If you would like to go to a game the teams has multiple offerings on the Huntsville Havoc website.  You can opt for single game tickets ranging from $12-$28. You can also buy season tickets so that you never miss a moment of the action. Season tickets include a ton of perks and savings. You can purchase the “Full Season Package” with all 28 home 

games plus the playoff and preseason games with prices ranging from $252-$560 depending on area and seating preference. The “Half Season Package” includes 14 home games at the VBC with prices ranging from $140-$322.


By: Josh Holland

Josh Holland is a writer who currently studies writing and literature at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Previously, Josh attended the University of North Alabama in Florence where he also studied writing. While attending UNA, Josh had articles published in both SET Magazine and The Flor-Ala. Josh was also published in the UNA Lights and Shadows Literary Arts Magazine, which focuses on fiction. Josh has experience as a video editor, and often writes scripts for online, text-based video content.

Matt Curtis Real Estate Helps Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua

For every 100 homes sold by Matt Curtis Real Estate, the company donates one home to Habitat for Humanity Nicaragua.  So, if Matt Curtis Real Estate sells at least one home every 14 hours, that’s a lot of families getting a home south of our border!


“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” 

– Erma Bombeck


The History of Habitat for Humanity

Clarence Jordan first developed the idea of “partnership housing” along with Millard and Linda Fuller.  The team sought out families who lacked sufficient housing but who were willing to work with volunteers to build their homes.  The homeowners would acquire no-interest loans and some assistance to pay for low monthly payments for their housing.

The team collected “The Fund for Humanity” to continue to build more homes, starting in Zaire (now known as the Republic of Congo.)  After working three successful years on the program in Africa, the Fullers returned to the United States and founded Habitat for Humanity International in 1976.

Habitat for Humanity became a household name, especially after President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter became involved and

publicized the organization. 

Habitat for Humanity has assisted 9.8 million people in about 70 countries in achieving the dream of home ownership.

How it Works

Applicants who need adequate housing apply with their local Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for

Humanity assesses the applicant’s needs. Sometimes the applicants simply need repairs and renovations to their current home.  Other times, applicants need a newly constructed house. 

Potential homeowners must be willing to work alongside volunteers to work on their homes, putting in “sweat equity.”  The applicants must be capable of putting down a small down payment and making the low monthly payments.

Habitat for Humanity became a household name, especially after President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter became involved and publicized the organization.

Habitat for Humanity has assisted 9.8 million people in about 70 countries in achieving the dream of home ownership.

How it Works

Applicants who need adequate housing apply with their local Habitat for Humanity.  Habitat for Humanity assesses the applicant’s needs.  Sometimes the applicants simply need repairs and renovations to their current home.  Other times, applicants need a newly constructed house.

Potential homeowners must be willing to work alongside volunteers to work on their homes, putting in “sweat equity.”  The applicants must be capable of putting down a small down payment and making the low monthly payments.

Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua

According to their website, Habitat for Humanity has been working in Nicaragua

since fall 1984. They have served 14,773 families.  Britannica Academic says that Nicaragua is a very poor country with high unemployment rates and a large debt.  The country is still reeling from the effects of a cruel dictator and civil war.  Because of the rampant poverty in this small, Central American country, there is a very great need for adequate housing.

How We Can Help

We in the Rocket City may not be able to go to Nicaragua to help out, but we can join the Matt Curtis Real Estate team in several ways to contribute.  You can read all about donation opportunities for Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua, here.

If you’d rather help closer to Huntsville, visit the Madison County Habitat for Humanity, here.

Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua

According to their website, Habitat for Humanity has been working in Nicaragua since fall 1984. They have served 14,773 families.  Britannica Academic says that Nicaragua is a very poor country with high unemployment rates and a large debt.  The country is still reeling from the effects of a cruel dictator and civil war.  Because of the rampant poverty in this small, Central American country, there is a very great need for adequate housing.


How We Can Help

We in the Rocket City may not be able to go to Nicaragua to help out, but we can join the Matt Curtis Real Estate team in several ways to contribute.  You can read all about donation opportunities for Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua, here.

If you’d rather help closer to Huntsville, visit the Madison County Habitat for Humanity, here.

Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua

According to their website, Habitat for Humanity has been working in Nicaragua since fall 1984. They have served 14,773 families.  Britannica Academic says that Nicaragua is a very poor country with high unemployment rates and a large debt.  The country is still reeling from the effects of a cruel dictator and civil war.  Because of the rampant poverty in

this small, Central American country, there is a very great need for adequate housing.

How We Can Help

We in the Rocket City may not be able to go to Nicaragua to help out, but we can join the Matt Curtis Real Estate team in several ways to contribute.  You can read all about donation opportunities for Habitat for Humanity in Nicaragua, here.

If you’d rather help closer to Huntsville, visit the Madison County Habitat for Humanity, here.


By: Stephanie L. Robertson

Stephanie L. Robertson is a writer and editor who maintains a southern lifestyle blog at www.SweetgumLife.comA busy Christian wife and mom, Stephanie and her husband of 19 years live in the Huntsville area with their teenage daughter. Stephanie has a self-published short suspense story on Amazon and is working on adding a novel.  When not engaged in mom/wife life, she enjoys photography, Pinterest projects, coffee with family and friends, and immersing herself in a good suspense novel.

GrubSouth

REWARD: 10% OFF Your First Order Through Grub South

Terms and Conditions: 
  • Must use coupon code
  • Maximum couple value per customer must not exceed $200
  • Minimum order $15

April 2018 Coupon Code: MCGSApril10


For more information on Grub South go to: https://huntsville.grubsouth.com/


GrubSouth Makes Delivery Easy in The Rocket City

If you’re a Huntsville resident looking for food delivery options, GrubSouth is a must have app. Also available to use in your PC’s browser, GrubSouth makes ordering great food to your door as easy as it gets.

Easy ordering with GrubSouth

Indeed, their motto is “Eating just got easier”, and if you’re even barely tech savvy, you’ll have tasty noms from some of the area’s most popular restaurants in no time, whether you’re at home in the Rocket City, Madison, or Athens, at work on Redstone Arsenal, or at any of Huntsville’s hospitals, colleges, and businesses.

From Tropical Smoothie to Stanlieo’s Subs and Cajun Steamer to Anaheim Chili, upwards of 50 restaurants spread across town deliver to my address in Jones Valley. They’ve even started delivering breakfast, which seems harder but I respect. I enjoy eating out most of

all for breakfast, but I’m sure they’ve had plenty of breakfast customers since starting that. So it’s not exactly in no time, to be fair. GrubSouth says their usual wait time is 45 minutes and I’m assuming that’s what they tell everyone. But with a little forethought and patience, you’ll use it over and over on those nights where you don’t wanna stand and cook or can’t bear the thought of getting back in the car. I’ve waited for over an hour and for under a half hour.

From Tropical Smoothie to Stanlieo’s Subs and Cajun Steamer to Anaheim Chili, upwards of 50 restaurants spread across town deliver to my address in Jones Valley. They’ve even started delivering breakfast, which seems harder but I respect. I enjoy eating out most of all for breakfast, but I’m sure they’ve had plenty of breakfast customers since starting that.

So it’s not exactly in no time, to be fair. GrubSouth says their usual wait time is 45 minutes and I’m assuming that’s what they tell everyone. But with a little forethought and patience, you’ll use it over and over on those nights where you don’t wanna stand and cook or can’t bear the thought of getting back in the car. I’ve waited for over an hour and for under a half hour.

Traffic grows more congested by the year in our growing Huntsville metro area, and needless to say, safety is the primary concern. Outside of the odd longer wait, which can be offset by not waiting til you’re famished to order, I report nothing but satisfaction from my experiences as a GrubSouth customer.

User Friendly App

The app itself, its icon an orange script “GS”, is clean and user friendly. After it’s installed, just enter your address and you’re set to check out menus. GrubSouth has served Huntsville and Madison for years, and now they’re serving Athens, too.

Five familiar icons line the bottom of the app on my iPhone, from left to right: Your Account, Settings, Restaurants, Cart, and Checkout. Owners Marge Loveday and Katie Herron smartly matched Huntsville’s taste for technology with their fast, no frills app and it’s helped them grow leaps and bounds to become self made queens of their niche.

After choosing a sandwich from Beauregard’s, I’m immediately prompted to choose my side item. The list includes house salads listed separately with each available dressing choice, effectively eliminating a step. So that’s neat.

If you just wanna order two of the same item, or have special requests (pickle on the side, please!), just tap an item in your cart and change the quantity of the item or type in a note for the kitchen.

When you checkout, you have the option to tip your driver 15-20% or a suggested percentage of your total. You can choose to pay with cash at the door, or use a card. You can also split a check and share the cost with your friends.

Drivers in my experience (and handful have been friends of mine) are friendly and communicative. If they’ve run into traffic or other delay, they’re likely to give you a call and heads up about it, as our driver did recently when we ordered from one of our favorite Huntsville restaurants, Sitar Indian Cuisine. Once, I even got into a passionate 90 second chat with a driver about music when she said she liked my band t-shirt.

After choosing a sandwich from Beauregard’s, I’m immediately prompted to choose my side item. The list includes house salads listed separately with each

available dressing choice, effectively eliminating a step. So that’s neat. If you just wanna order two of the same item, or have special requests (pickle on the side, please!), just tap an item in your cart and change the quantity of the item or type in a note for the kitchen. 

When you checkout, you have the option to tip your driver 15-20% or a suggested percentage of your total. You can choose to pay with cash at the door, or use a card. You can also split a check and share the cost with your friends.

Drivers in my experience (and handful have been friends of mine) are friendly and communicative. If they’ve run into traffic or other delay, they’re likely to give you a call and heads up about it, as our driver did recently when we ordered from one of our favorite Huntsville restaurants, Sitar Indian Cuisine. Once, I even got into a passionate 90 second chat with a driver about music when she said she liked my band t-shirt.

After choosing a sandwich from Beauregard’s, I’m immediately prompted to choose my side item. The list includes house salads listed separately with each available dressing choice, effectively eliminating a step. So that’s neat.

If you just wanna order two of the same item, or have special requests (pickle on the side, please!), just tap an item in your cart and

change the quantity of the item or type in a note for the kitchen.

When you checkout, you have the option to tip your driver 15-20% or a suggested percentage of your total. You can choose to pay with cash at the door, or use a card. You can also split a check and share the cost with your friends.

Drivers in my experience (and handful have been friends of mine) are friendly and communicative. If they’ve run into traffic or other delay, they’re likely to give you a call and heads up about it, as our driver did recently when we ordered from one of our favorite Huntsville restaurants, Sitar Indian Cuisine. Once, I even got into a passionate 90 second chat with a driver about music when she said she liked my band t-shirt.

GrubSouth's Service

To return the compliment, I’ll say GrubSouth’s uniforms are snazzy and professional, with their branding subtly featured on a fleece zip-up to match their purpose-built black hot/cold insular delivery boxes. It’s a good look for such a public facing business, and along with their well-designed website, makes me feel confident in their future as they continue to work with new restaurants and expand in the Huntsville metro area.

Note: GrubSouth’s FAQ says with a minimum order of $75 and delivery fee starting at about ten bucks, deliveries can be made outside designated zones.


By; Stephen Locke

Stephen Locke grew up in north Alabama, and returned to find a beautiful wife and East Limestone mutt to call family, after years of toil and revelry afar, and having absorbed the lesson, "Don'tcha think, sometime's it's wise not to grow up?" His true loves include waterfalls, houseplants, architecture, photography, basketball, and whistling along to his favorite guitar solos.

5 Things to Try in the Rocket City in 2018

How about making a New Year’s resolution to try something new? Maybe you can overcome a fear, cross something off your bucket list, or just do something different with family or friends. Here are some ideas to get started. Who knows? You might do them more than once.

Solve Riddles to Escape

Solve mysteries like Scooby-Doo’s gang when you get locked in a room with a small group of people and search for clues to escape within 60 minutes. Two local venues offer a variety of themes, such as a stricken submarine, a devastating Internet virus, alien abduction and a murder aboard a train. This is a team sport of two to seven players, and guests can make reservations (required) with a full group or be paired with others (make new friends!). These games are recommended for ages 15 and up as guests must solve riddles and look for clues. Huntsville Escape Rooms, in downtown Huntsville at 604-C Madison St. SE, is open Tuesday through Sunday. Cost is $25 per person. Learn more and book a room at Huntsville Escape Rooms here.Escapology Escape Rooms at Stars and Strikes, 930 Old Monrovia Road NW, is open daily, with games going on even after midnight. Cost is $28.99 per person (2-6 people per room). Book a room at Escapology here.

Learn to Sail 
Learn to be Popeye’s sidekick as you navigate a small vessel on beautiful Lake Guntersville. Browns Creek Sailing Association

offers classes in the spring, taught by a U.S. Sailing Small Boat Instructor and BCSA sailors experienced in racing and cruising. Over two weekends (four days) students will earn their sailing certification as they learn the ropes aboard the club’s Sunfish sailboats and get classroom instruction. Students must bring an approved life jacket. The course is around $180. The association is based at Browns Creek Sailing Marina, 128 Browns Creek Road, Guntersville. To learn more and contact instructors, click here.

Learn to Sail
Learn to be Popeye’s sidekick as you navigate a small vessel on beautiful Lake Guntersville. Browns Creek Sailing Association offers classes in the spring, taught by a U.S. Sailing Small Boat Instructor and BCSA sailors experienced in racing and cruising. Over two weekends (four days) students will earn their sailing certification as they learn the ropes

aboard the club’s Sunfish sailboats and get classroom instruction. Students must bring an approved life jacket. The course is around $180. The association is based at Browns Creek Sailing Marina, 128 Browns Creek Road, Guntersville. To learn more and contact instructors, click here.

Learn to Sail 
Learn to be Popeye’s sidekick as you navigate a small vessel on beautiful Lake Guntersville. Browns Creek Sailing Association offers classes in the spring, taught by a U.S. Sailing Small Boat Instructor and BCSA sailors experienced in racing and cruising. Over two weekends (four days) students will earn their sailing certification as they learn the ropes aboard the club’s Sunfish sailboats and get classroom instruction. Students must bring an approved life jacket. The course is around $180. The association is based at Browns Creek Sailing Marina, 128 Browns Creek Road, Guntersville. To learn more and contact instructors, click here.
Meet Exotic Animals
Hang out with some of Simba’s friends at Harmony Park Safari, a drive-through animal preserve at 431 Clouds Cove Road SE, Huntsville. Steer slowly through the 2-mile loop and stop often as free-ranging beasts and birds come right up to vehicles in search of treats you purchase before going through. You can drive the loop as many times as you wish. Among the residents are zebras, ostrich, water buffalo, a camel, kangaroo and tortoises. See snakes and alligators in the reptile house and pet some smaller animals in an enclosed area. Cost is $8 per vehicle and there are regulations for vehicles: windows and roofs required; no campers, RVs, monster trucks or protruding tires; pick-up beds must be empty; no pets. Open daily March through November, 10 a.m. until sunset. Look up the park on Facebook here or call (256) 723-3880.
Soar Through the Trees
Soar like Soren the owl when you take on the Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventure at Lake Guntersville, a zip line and

bridge excursion high amidst the vegetation along the lake. The Level 1 tour comprises 10 zip lines and four bridges. It takes about two hours and welcomes ages 8 and up, with a minimum weight of 50 pounds, for $59. Extend the day by adding the Level 2 tour, for ages 10 and up weighing at least 90 pounds. This tour offers 7 more zip lines that are longer and higher than the first batch, as well as more bridges. The two levels together are $99. Make reservations in advance and report to the lodge at Guntersville State Park, 1155 Lodge Drive, Guntersville. Learn more about the zip line tours here.

Soar Through the Trees
Soar like Soren the owl when you take on the Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventure at Lake Guntersville, a zip line and bridge excursion high amidst the vegetation along the lake. The Level 1 tour comprises 10 zip lines and four bridges. It takes about two hours and welcomes ages 8 and up, with a minimum weight of 50 pounds, for $59. Extend the day by adding the Level 2 tour, for ages 10 and up weighing at least 90 pounds. This tour offers 7 more zip lines that are longer and higher than the first batch, as well as more bridges. The two levels together are $99. Make reservations in advance and report to the lodge at Guntersville State Park, 1155 Lodge Drive, Guntersville. Learn more about the zip line tours here.
Soar Through the Trees
Soar like Soren the owl when you take on the Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventure at Lake Guntersville, a zip line and bridge excursion high amidst the vegetation along the lake. The Level 1 tour comprises 10 zip lines and four bridges. It takes about two hours and welcomes ages 8 and up, with a minimum weight of 50 pounds, for $59. Extend the day by adding the Level 2 tour, for ages 10 and up weighing at

least 90 pounds. This tour offers 7 more zip lines that are longer and higher than the first batch, as well as more bridges. The two levels together are $99. Make reservations in advance and report to the lodge at Guntersville State Park, 1155 Lodge Drive, Guntersville. Learn more about the zip line tours here.

Look to the Stars

You won’t see “Star Wars,” but you will see celestial objects any Saturday night at the Wernher von Braun Planetarium atop Monte Sano Mountain. Members of the Von Braun Astronomical society as well as guest speakers present a different topic nearly every week at 7:30 p.m. in the historic building, which was built by employees at Redstone Arsenal and members of the community under the direction of von Braun. After the planetarium program, if skies are clear, guests can peer through the society’s telescope and see what is prominent in the sky that evening. (Saturn looks just like its photo in science books!) Topics for 2017 included the solar eclipse, Jules Verne, Jupiter, the Zodiac, Chinese astronomy and “So You Got a Telescope for Christmas.” Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students, free for children under 6. The planetarium is in Monte Sano State Park at 5105 Nolen Ave. S.E. Learn more and find the planetarium schedule here.


By: Deborah Bennick

Deborah Bennick is a freelance writer and editor in Huntsville whose journalism career spans 25 years in four states. She enjoys cooking, reading, volunteering, outdoor activities, watching her kids play sports and being involved with education.

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